I started with a Kodak Instamatic 25, about as foolproof as a camera ever was. My photos from that time are black and white. Later I had a Rollei 35mm miniature camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. (Wikipedia.) It had a small retractable lens so was very handy and took very good quality transparencies with Kodachrome. It also had a mechanical flim re-wind handle. There’s one on eBay at £150 which must be more than the retail price at new. An up-grade to SLR meant an Olympus OM10 which served to capture great slides (having been well-advised to get 1:4 rather than the standard 1:8 lens) until the magnet on the mirror flip-up caused problems. It was a common fault and caused real frustration so it was traded-in, in 1988, for an Olympus AZ-300 Superzoom called a bridge camera or hybrid at the time. It has a 38-105mm built-in zoom (1:4.5 – 6) and was very convenient with a 40.5mm lens. It cost £250.
I swapped back to 50mm SLR with a Canon EOS 300 with 28-80mm zoom (1:3.5 – 5.6) which was, and still is, a good piece of film-kit. I also bought a 75-300mm Ultrasonic zoom-lens (1:4 – 5.6) which I still use with my Canon EOS 400 DSLR. I was rather reluctant to make the change to digital while the high-end kit was very expensive and the consumer compacts could not match the quality to begin with.
Having used a Canon Sureshot 35mm film camera, with 38-105mm zoom, for many years, Margaret bought a digital compact at the airport on the way to Marjorca in 2004 and it took stunningly good quality photographs. It also opened up that joy of reviewing an image instantly and the cost-effective option of taking many photographs and keeping the best.
It was an Olympus Camedia C-50 Zoom purchased for about £200. We bought an extra x-D card (128MB!) and it served well until the sliding front-cover jammed. It was a mechanical fault and not the digital technology which failed. This was followed in July 2012 by a Nikon Coolpix S9100 with 18x wide optical zoom and full HD. It was at a reduced price of only £128 and it has 2 x 4GB SD cards. Proving to be very robust, it has a dent on each corner. We have looked for a replacement camera but they are currently either small and flimsy or high-spec and expensive. The right camera at the right price-point will be found soon.
We have both used our mobiles increasingly and it is convenient to have as a back-up – and to easily upload. The mobile phone apps and touch-screen just do not have the quick reactions of a dedicated camera. I want a camera that geo-tags the photographs without having to link via mobile phone – and saving the manual mapping within Flickr. Still looking. Any ideas?
By the way, if you are interested in the technical details of why film remains better than digital images, and it’s not just ‘resolution’, read these two, quite long, blog posts. It explains why even a scanned image of a 35 mm film photograph is better quality (282 megapixels) than a digital image (20 megapixels).
The real resolution of film vs. digital [opens in a new tab]
The real resolution of film vs. digital – part two [opens in a new tab]